Does Garbage Have A Future?
One of the areas of mounting concern on the Planet is the huge amount of 'single use' plastic and paper garbage that is being discarded in landfills or incinerated. It is becoming very clear that humanity needs to reduce the proliferation of garbage in order to create a sustainable solution for the Planet. For many, the lifestyle change to support significant reductions of garbage on Earth may sound radical, but there appears to be no other alternative that will generate a solution that is sustainable.
To significantly reduce worldwide garbage society will need to eliminate most of the 'one time use' packaging, implement 100% recycling programs, design products to use recyclable materials, and concentrate on the utilisation of sustainable organics (wood, wool, cotton, silk, etc) in manufactured products.
Currently, the world response to solving the problems of garbage is only 5% of what it needs to be in order to protect the Planet. One alternative could be to sit back and do nothing about garbage, but this is not a feasible approach anymore, even from an economic perspective. Many countries are running out of landfill sites to dispose of their garbage, so a solution has to be found, and necessity is becoming the economic driver for this.
Implementing a global conservation approach would probably reduce garbage by 40-60%. Significant emphasis on the implementation of minimalist packaging for consumer products, fast food, groceries, etc. would produce huge reductions in garbage. The ultimate goal is that when you finish an activity like eating, or cleaning your house, or buying a consumer appliance, the only garbage is organic and therefore biodegradable, and the containers / shipping pallets that were used are made from reusable glass or plastic that is highly recyclable/washable for use again at the supermarket or store. This means that standardised reusable packaging and containers need to be developed, and much more bulk distribution of products to the consumer has to be the way forward. More emphasis on corner stores for fresh local baked goods, local produce, local meats would also reduce shipping waste and packaging. In the near future, the clear winners in the corporate world will be the companies that can design their products or services to be profitable and at the same time have close to zero impact on the environment. Those CEO's and Managing Directors that don't push their organisations in the direction of product or service offerings that eliminate or reduce garbage and pollution will find themselves without any markets to sell to. Society's realisation of the magnitude of change required to save the Planet, and the urgent need to find companies that can respond to this, is creating a new economic reward system and a new group of significant growth companies.